2009-09-01 Rock truck impacts bridge guardrail

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2009-09-01
Company Name: 
TimberWest
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A loaded off-highway rock truck impacted the timber guardrail of a 50 metre forest road bridge. The truck remained on the bridge but the force of the impact resulted in the guardrail breaking off from the bridge at the bracket blocks.

The timber guardrails and riser blocks had been replaced 3 years earlier but the bracket blocks that connect to the cement bridge deck (see figure) were not replaced at that time. As a result there was significantly more rot in the bracket blocks and the guardrail system was not anchored to the bridge deck as securely as regular inspections of the upper two blocks suggested.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Ensure all portions of bridge guardrail systems are inspected closely during inspections. In particular look closely at timber bracket blocks and riser blocks as they are often in contact with water and dirt, resulting in more rapid decay than the guardrails themselves. Ensure inspection routines allow for recording of the age of all components of a bridge, especially maintenance items, which can be of a different vintage than the entire structure. Additionally, consider the use of treated timber blocks to prolong the life of the guardrail systems where longer replacement cycles are desired.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

TimberWest, Oyster River Operation 250-287-9181

File attachments
2009-09-01 Rock truck impacts bridge guardrail.pdf
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